How To Add Columns in Google Sheets [3 Easy Methods]


How to add columns in Google Sheets? It’s a common question with an easy answer. To add extra columns to your spreadsheet, all you have to do is navigate to “Insert” > “Columns.”

If you’d like to learn the various methods or want more guidance, read this blog post for my full guide on adding columns in Google Sheets.

How To Add a Column in Google Sheets

There are three easy ways to add a new column in Google Sheets. Depending on your task and context, your method will vary. Below are the regular methods I use for adding columns in Google Sheets. Read the article and use the most appropriate method that best suits your needs.

Related: How to Hide Columns in Google Sheets

How To Add Columns on Google Sheets Using the Insert Menu

This is the “Default” way of adding a column in Google Sheets. Let me show you the step-by-step process on how to insert a column in Google Sheets:

  1. Open the spreadsheet with the data where I want to use the Google Sheets add the columns option.
    • Here, I will select the column beside which I will add more columns in Google Sheets.
How to add columns in Google Sheets—example spreadsheet
  1. To do this, I can click on any of the column headings in the top bar to select a column.
    • I will click and drag my mouse to the left or right to select the range of cells or columns.
Columns options in Google Sheets
  1. With the cells selected, I click on the “Insert” button in the top toolbar, which opens a drop-down menu.
    • Here, I click on the “Column” button to “Insert X columns left” or “Insert X columns right.”

Note: This feature will only add the selected number of cells. In this example, the three selected columns will turn into a prompt that allows me to add three cells.

Related: How To Move Columns in Google Sheets in 3 Easy Ways

Watch Our Video to Add Columns in Google Sheets

Short on time? No problem! Here is our one-minute guide on how to add columns in Google Sheets video. Note that I’ve also got this video on my YouTube channel. It covers the quickest way to add more columns to your spreadsheet. I also show how to double your available workspace.

How To Insert Multiple Columns in Google Sheets Using Data Menu

I often have large datasets in my spreadsheet that I would like to split into different columns. An example is when a spreadsheet has first and last names in the same cell. Using this method, I can split the names into their respective columns to organize the data better.

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to add more columns in Google Sheets:

  1. To do this, I open the spreadsheet containing the combined data.
    • I’m using a dataset containing the first and last names with a comma to make this easier to understand.
    • I click and drag my cursor to select the data.
Google Sheets columns with the first and last names
  1. With the cell range selected, I click the “Data” button in the main toolbar, which opens a drop-down menu.
    • Then, I click the “Split text to columns” button.
How to split data into two columns in Google Sheets
  1. Most of the time, the function will automatically detect the separator.
    • However, if you want to choose it manually, click on the “Separator” option towards the bottom right side of the selected dataset.
    • This will split the text into separate columns according to your preferences.

Related: How to Group Rows and Columns in Google Sheets

How To Add Column in Google Sheets with a Keyboard Shortcut

Shortcuts are a great way to enhance productivity and get things done faster. This is my desired option because it improves my workflow efficiency. and it’s super convenient.

Below is a simple guide on how to add columns in Google Sheets using the shortcut:

  1. I open the spreadsheet containing my data where I wish to add columns.
    • With any cell selected, I press the Ctrl key and Space to choose the entire column where I want to insert the additional column.
    • If you click within a dataset, you may have to press the shortcut twice to select the entire column.
  1. To select additional columns, I hold down the Shift key and press the Left or Right arrow keys to select more columns.
    • Ensure the number of columns selected is the number you wish to insert.
  1. I press the Ctrl + Alt + = keyboard shortcut on Windows to add the columns.
    • For Mac, the shortcut is Command key + Option + =.

And there you have it! An easy and convenient way to add a column in Google Sheets!

Related Reading: How To Insert Multiple Rows in Google Sheets: 7 Methods [2024]

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Maximum Number of Columns I Can Add to My Google Sheets?

As of 2024, Google Sheets allows users to have a maximum of 18,278 columns. The columns are represented using alphabets, which will continue with double letters. If you want to add more columns after the maximum limit, you must delete some previously existing columns.

How Do You Add Columns in Sheets After Z?

In Google Sheets, you can add columns after Z. These columns will continue using double letters such as AA, AB, AC, and so on.

To add additional columns, click and select the column using the column letter at the top of the spreadsheet. With the column selected, click “Insert” > “Column” > “Insert X columns left” or “Insert X columns right.”

How Do I Insert 100 Columns in Google Sheets?

There is no quick shortcut to add 100 columns, but you can easily double the sheet’s amount by adding bulk columns. To do so:

  1. Click the A column header
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift and then double-tap the right arrow on your keyboard. This will select all of the row headers.
  3. Navigate to “Insert” > “Columns” > “Insert X Columns
  4. Repeat this process until you have more than 100 columns
Inserting bulk columns

Wrapping Up How to Add Columns in Google Sheets

Now, you know three easy methods on how to add columns in Google Sheets. It’s as simple as clicking “Column” in the “Insert menu.” Adding information to your spreadsheet will make your data more complete, so take advantage of the practical tips from this guide to get the most out of your spreadsheets.

Want to become a Google Sheets master? Check out this complete Google Sheets course that walks you through creating spreadsheets, understanding functions, using pivot tables, and more! It is a powerful online spreadsheet tool that will allow you to master all the essential functions, enabling you to build professional spreadsheets to improve your workflow productivity.


Fact Checked By Cindy Wong

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